A grand cruciform town church, mostly 12th and 13th century, which lost its spire in the Civil War. It has some exceptional stonework and some fine monuments, particularly those to the Unton and Pye families.
The nave (main body of the church) is mainly 13th-century. The capitals of the pillars are decorated with carved leaves, each one different. Note the tortoise at the base of one of the pillars.
The two perpendicular windows in the north aisle are beautifully proportioned. The west window, behind the organ, is also very fine. The organ at the west end is a modern concert instrument with 1390 pipes, installed in 1969. The charity boards on the wall in the north transept are 18th-century. All the charity funds have now been consolidated into one united charity.
The south door, by which you enter is a marvellous 12th-century piece with wrought iron. The door surround on the north side of the church is even older - it is a fine piece of Norman work. The font is very old, although it is now set on a Victorian base. Notice the Perpendicular period carving – each of the eight faces has a different design.
The Unton Chapel has the Elizabethan kneeling figure of Lady Dorothy Unton and other interesting family monuments. The Pye Chapel contains several fine memorials to members of the Pye family.
The supporting pillars are massive, originally 13th-century, with finely carved capitals. Look up at the stone heads as you pass under the tower. Outside, the squat tower once had a spire, destroyed during the Civil War while Faringdon House behind the church was besieged by Parliamentary forces! See the cannon ball in the case on the east wall of the transept (under the overhang).
There is a ring of eight bells, making a fine octave in the key of E. The clock and carillon chimes were fitted in 1926 and play a hymn tune at three-hourly intervals. The bells are rung to call people to worship on Sundays and to celebrate special events.
The chancel is Early English in style, dating back to the 13th century, and contains the communion table. Interesting brasses are mounted on the north wall of the Sanctuary, and on the south side there are three priests’ seats under an ornate stone canopy.
Ironwork of the c.1200 south door